Congress Facing Midnight Deadline To Avoid Government Shutdown

In reaction to Paul's speech, which pushed debate on a two-year bipartisan spending bill well past the 12 a.m. shutdown deadline, both Democrats and Republicans have cast blame onto the self-described libertarian conservative for the second government shutdown in just a few weeks.

The new budget bill would raise military and domestic spending by nearly US$300 billion over the next two years.

USA media report that the lawmakers are aiming to get the bill passed both by the Senate and the House by Friday morning. "Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!"

The Republican Party was once known for fiscal conservatism, but congressional Republicans and Mr Trump are now quickly expanding the USA budget deficit and its $20tn national debt.

The deal also includes a bunch of other goodies, particularly for federal health care programs and the states and territories ravaged by hurricanes previous year.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she and many fellow Democrats will oppose an expected bipartisan budget deal unless Republicans allow the chamber to vote on legislation protecting immigrants.

The bill was approved by a wide margin in the Senate and it survived a rebellion of 67 conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives, thanks to the support of some Democrats.

Sen. Rand Paul is holding up a vote on the government funding bill using Senate rules.

Congress is on the verge of a long-term budget pact that would provide whopping spending increases to the Pentagon and domestic federal programs, overdue disaster relief money and, perhaps, legislation to increase the government's borrowing limit.

That won over many Republicans but some were still furious over the $131 billion extra made available for non-military spending, including health and infrastructure.

Trump was referring to a provision in the bill that increases spending limits for the next two years and raises the federal debt ceiling until March 2019.

"As I've said publicly many times, our upcoming immigration debate on #DACA, border security, & other issues will be a process that is fair to all sides. We could have done 40 amendments", Paul said.

Democrats on the left, especially members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were frustrated to see a budget deal negotiated that resolved virtually every Democratic priority except a resolution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a policy that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the USA as children that President Donald Trump chose to terminate in September. The debt limit would be suspended through March of 2019, Sanders said, putting the next vote on it safely past this year's midterm elections.

Paul can technically prevent a vote until after midnight.

"This package can not have my support", House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said.

The deal suspends a 2011 budget law championed by conservatives that set hard caps on discretionary spending and included an automatic trigger known as "sequester" cuts if Congress attempted to bust those spending caps.

The Senate plans to strip out the current text of the House bill and insert its own budget agreement.

"Speaker Ryan has already repeatedly stated we intend to do a DACA and immigration reform bill - one that the President supports", spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement responding to Pelosi.

A band of tea party Republicans swung against the legislation as well, repelled by its spiraling spending levels. It follows a 3-day shutdown in January due to disagreement between the Democrats and Republicans over key issues, including immigration. Democrats intensified their efforts to communicate they would hold firm in an effort to pressure Republicans to offer a commitment for a floor vote on immigration. All they have to do - I told him this at 11:00 a.m. this morning - give me 15 minutes to debate, 15 minutes to vote and we could have been done by noon. "I want people to feel uncomfortable".

  • Leroy Wright